The potentially disastrous court case scandal between Waymo and Uber is seemingly getting a favorable resolution for both parties involved – although Waymo comes out as the victor.
The Waymo – Uber race for achieving full autonomy in its vehicles turned ugly when the former called the latter in the courtroom. Back in February Waymo alleged two former employees took crucial self-driving technology and then used it as they became part of Uber’s autonomous team. Now a federal judge decided to grant the victory to Google’s autonomous division, with Uber having to return any stolen confidential files by May 31, 2017. The judge reasoned that Uber knew – or should have known – the technology stolen by an ex-Waymo engineer had “seeped into” the company’s self-driving endeavor.
Apparently, it’s not a total loss for Uber, because once the stolen files are returned the company will be allowed to proceed with development of its own autonomous technology. Uber was also ordered to have Anthony Levandowski, the main engineer in question, refrained from working on any LiDAR systems – the technology in question – in the future. “The bottom line is the evidence indicates that Uber hired Levandowski even though it knew or should have known that he possessed over 14,000 confidential Waymo files likely containing Waymo’s intellectual property,” said Judge Alsup in the ruling.